Why the Indian IT industry is gung-ho about Sundar Pichai

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Aug 12, 2015 12:01 IST
File photo of Sundar Pichai who has been named CEO of Google. (AP File Photo)

The Indian IT industry elated that 43-year-old Sundar Pichai is Google's new CEO. Pichai, who will succeed Google co-founder Larry Page as CEO a decade after joining the Silicon Valley behemoth in 2004, symbolises a new India, and represents talent, technological innovation, and manegerial accumen, an Indian IT industry executive said.

"It is not a surprise that another Indian techie has made it to the top a year after Satya Nadella became Microsoft's chief executive. They both with many others represent the best of talent, creativity and managerial ability to run global corporations," Nasscom president R. Chandrashekhar said.

In a sudden announcement at Palo Alto where Google is headquartered, Page said that former Chrome and Android head Pichai would be the new executive as he was moving out to head a new umbrella company Alphabet.

Google's other co-founder Sergey Brin will be the president of Alphabet, floated to run its other subsidiaries such as Life Sciences and Calico.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the first to greet Pichai for heading one of the most valued technology firms in the world.

"Congratulations Sundar Pichai. My best wishes for the new role at Google," Modi tweeted.

Modi is likely to meet Pichai during his visit to the Silicon Valley in September to address the Indian Diaspora, especially hundreds of Indian-born techies and entrepreneurs working in global IT firms and start-ups in the Bay area.

"We are planning to have an inter-active session between Modi and our Diaspora in the Silicon Valley where he will meet Pichai, Nadella and other Indian-born and Indian American honchos to seek their expertise in fast tracking the 'Digital India' and 'Make in India' programmes," Chandrashekhar said.

Nadella also tweeted: "Congrats sundarpichai well deserved!"

Besides strengthening Indian and American tech partnership, elevation of Pichai and Nadella to top posts underscored the fact that India has become a storehouse of global talent in technology and management.

"Pichai, Nadella and scores of other Indians who went on to build IT products demonstrate the maturity of our IT industry, which has come of age to catch up with global peers and move up the value chain to innovation from software services and back office operations," said Chandrashekhar.

Echoing the industry body's view, former Infosys director and Manipal Global Education T.V. Mohandas Pai said Pichai's rise to the top in Google was a testimony to the great global talent India had and the globalisation of Indian economy.

"With a more open economy, Indians are working at senior levels across global enterprises and are beginning to head global corporations, particularly in technology," Pai said.

Representing the $150-billion Indian IT industry, the National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) plans to invite Pichai to India for building an ecosystem in the country to replicate its success in software services in products for serving domestic and global markets.

"It is a matter of pride to have many Indians like Pichai in top positions in the tech world, and it would be an honour to have their expertise in speeding up product development, innovation and creating new devices for global market," Chandrashekhar added.

Lauding Pichai for becoming a chief executive of a global firm at a young age, former Infosys director and angel investor V. Balakrishnan said it was wonderful to see many Indians occupy the top posts in global corporations.

"Google is one of the most innovative organisations in the world, and Pichai is one of the most respected persons in the technology industry. His elevation to the chief executive post in Google validates once again the quality and depth of managerial talent India has," Balakrishnan said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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